This is not a film. Contemporary Art and Cinema in the Helga de Alvear Collection

A temporary exhibition and a film series to celebrate the close relationship between cinema and contemporary art.

From the 2nd of March to the the 4tf of June of 2023

Exposición "Esto no es una película. Arte contemporáneo y cine en la Colección Helga de Alvear"

The Museum of Contemporary Art Helga de Alvear celebrates the close relationship between cinema and contemporary art through a temporary exhibition and a film series. In the programme, curated by José María González, both the exhibition model and the film series model converge, or, in other words, both the museum and the film library.

“This is not a movie. Contemporary art and cinema in the Helga de Alvear Collection” is the title of the exhibition made up of photographs, paintings, engravings and sculptures around the cinema, but which does not include audiovisual artworks. The exhibition does not seek to show the cinema made by artists, well represented in the Helga de Alvear Collection, but rather the effect, symptoms and influences of cinema on the work of visual artists.

With the presence of twenty international artists of recognized prestige, the exhibition offers a journey through different thematic perspectives on cinema: Possible but non-existent films (Ignasi Aballí), the script as drawing (Marcel Broodthaers, Bruce Nauman, William Kentridge), the origins of cinema as an experience linked to magic and the occult (Tracy Moffatt or Sonia Delaunay), the ability of cinema to precede history (Fernando Bryce), the actor as matter (Andy Warhol or Luis Gordillo), the “anti-actor” (Nan Goldin, Cindy Sherman) and Jane & Louis Wilson’s research project on the film not made by Stanley Kubrick on the Jewish Holocaust are the thematic axes that the exhibition proposes.

The program is completed with a film series titled “Movies despite everything. Film and video in the Helga de Alvear Collection” and includes screenings at the Museum and at the local film library, Filmoteca de Extremadura, during the course of the exhibition. The Museum’s auditorium will screenings of video art pieces by artists from the Helga de Alvear Collection, while the Filmoteca de Extremadura will have a special program of historical films in close dialogue with those projected from the museum.

In the words of the curator, the exhibition “proposes an essay through ideas to understand the ubiquitous and inevitable presence of cinema -its thought, its visuality, its time, its characters, its films, its institutions- in contemporary art”, while that the cycle, “as a counterpoint, or countershot, proposes a space for films, a place for cinema and the image projected inside the Helga de Alvear Museum in dialogue with the city’s Film Library”.

With this program, the Helga de Alvear Museum joins the 30th anniversary celebrations of the Cáceres Spanish Film Festival and “Versión Original” magazine, initiatives of the Rebross Foundation.

“This is not a movie. Contemporary art and cinema in the Helga de Alvear Collection” can be visited at the Helga de Alvear Museum (Cáceres) between March 2 and June 4, 2023.

In collaboration with:


Chema González

Programmer, curator and cultural worker, Chema González has explored the relationship between contemporary art and the moving image and has produced extensive audiovisual programming in the field of film essays, political documentaries, experimental cinema and auteur cinema.

As axes in this work: to recover silenced gazes that rewrite the histories of cinema, to connect the film practice with a committed political and theoretical space and to understand cinema as a determining art to transform our construction and interpretation of the world. He is currently the head of cultural and audiovisual activities at the Reina Sofía Museum, an institution in which, along with cinema, he develops a broad and transversal program of critical debate.

Among the recent cycles, highlight Possible Futures. Cinema and worlds to come (2021), Guy Debord and René Viénet, from lettrismo to situationism (together with Manuel Asín, 2020), The Last Godard. Images after the implosion (2020), Nothing happens, everything changes. Retrospective of Chantal Akerman (2019) and Sarah Maldoror. Poet and filmmaker of blackness (2019). He has curated exhibitions such as Geopoéticas. The video as a document of the place (Centro Guerrero, Granada, 2007), Common places. The collective experience in Latin American video (Centro Guerrero, Granada 2008) and David Lamelas. Instead of cinema (Centro Guerrero, Granada, 2009) and This is how history is written (La Casa Encendida, 2009).

He has co-edited books such as Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet. To make the revolution is to put very old but forgotten things back in their place (Museo Reina Sofía, 2016) and a reward of 10,000 francs. The dead or alive contemporary art museum (Ministry of Culture, 2009)

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